Why it matters: The Trillion Trees Act will support healthy forests, abundant fish and wildlife populations, a viable forest products industry, and quality hunting and fishing opportunities for America’s sportsmen and women. The Trillion Trees Act will also help improve air, soil, and water quality by revising outdated programs and establishing innovative public-private partnerships.
One of the issues facing our national forests is a lack of funding to conduct replanting and regeneration efforts. Active forest management is key to increasing and improving forest resiliency, reducing wildfire risk, and increasing the ability of forests to sequester carbon. Through several different aspects, the Trillion Tees Act seeks to increase the health of our nation’s forests by focusing on reforestation, management, and forest products utilization.
The Trillion Trees Act will remove the existing $30 million Reforestation Trust Fund Cap and raise it to $180 million to address the U.S. Forest Service’s reforestation backlog over the next 10 years. The U.S. Forest Service has identified more than 1.3 million acres that are in critical need of replanting efforts.
The Trillion Trees Act would improve forest management on federal lands by permanently reauthorizing the Good Neighbor Authority and adding efficiencies to environmental review processes for wildlife habitat restoration, watershed protection, critical infrastructure protection, and wildland-urban interface protection projects.
The Trillion Trees Act also establishes an innovative Trillion Trees Challenge Fund to encourage public-private partnerships in non-federal reforestation efforts. Specifically, the challenge fund provides $10 million for a period of 10 years for a competitive matching grants program for state and tribal local governments, non-profits, and other entities to conduct reforestation activities and programs. The challenge fund will provide an avenue for non-federal land managers to conduct reforestation efforts on both public and private lands.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will continue to work to advance the Trillion Trees Act through the House of Representatives.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?